Gawker and the Nano-Publishing Trend
Gawker, for the un-initiated is a New York based weblog describing itself as "a live review of city news, and by news we mean, among other things, urban dating rituals, no-ropes social climbing, Conde Nastiness, downwardly mobile i-bankers, real estate porn -- the serious stuff."
Nick also publishes Gizmodo, a weblog covering the latest and greatest in technological gadgetry.
Gawker just had their official launch party last night which I am sure was a blast. Gawker, Gizmodo, and my other site, MarketingFix are nanopublishing ventures that will turn around online media as we know it. The operations of most current online ventures require so much in the way of resources that it is not surprising a profit is rarely made. Nonopublished sites, on the other hand, don't require much more than free blogging software and one human to add content. Now that's oversimplifying it just a bit but this model brings the economics in line with reality. Very low overhead so that even minimal revenue can turn a profit.
For advertisers, "nanopublishing" yields the ability to "nanotarget". It's just another progressive step in the ability to more finely target and customize your advertising campaigns. There will be a shift from coverage to composition when crunching numbers. The quality of the audience will become more important then the quantity. Will that make media planning more difficult? Perhaps, but it will make for far more successful campaigns. And, interestingly, one of Denton's "nanopublishing" ventures just might make this "microtargeting" effort easier. Called The Lafayette Project -- a working title -- , this service will mine the editorial selections and commentary on weblogs to produce an improved personalized news service to consumers. It will identify the stories which have generated the most buzz in the weblog community, and allow readers to track the writings of their favorite weblog authors. I would imagine this to become the entry point into the "nanopublishing" world the way Google is the entry point into the web. I'm sure it will be more then that but we will all have to wait until it's launched later this year to find out.
Like most new media, nanopublishing will not replace existing media. It will just shift the playing field and that, in itself, is what is so fascinating about it.